Sabrina Hernandez: From Dental Tech to UX / UI Product Designer

Sabrina Hernandez, a February 2022 UX / UI Product Design graduate from Flatiron School, spent almost 6 years as a Dental Technician before making the decision to transition into tech.

She shares her journey from Dental Technician to UX / UI Product Designer below.

Nearly A Decade In Dental

Sabrina Hernandez’s career initially began in medicine – driven by her desire to have a positive impact on people. Following an internship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2013, she became a licensed radiology Dental Technician.

“I was a dental tech for seven years,” she said. “I worked with cross-functional teams, assisted with fourhanded surgeries, fabricated custom removable dental appliances, operated cutting-edge 3D oral scans, and so much more.”

Her time in the healthcare field, Sabrina said, “solidified [her] passion for providing scalable positive change for people.”

Despite enjoying her position, Sabrina recalls feeling the need for a change. That change, she determined, was a new career in design. 

“A career in design attracted me because I know there’s a need for human-centered talent, and as a health care provider, this comes naturally for me,” she explained. “ And I knew that my leadership, teamwork, adaptability, and people skills were transferable.”

Her Experience At Flatiron School

The decision to attend Flatiron School was an easy one for Sabrina.

“I decided to earn my foundational product design training from Flatiron school because of their emphasis on design ethics,” she said. “When I learned this, I knew that Flatiron was the right school for me.”

While at Flatiron School, she recalls the faculty she encountered as being the most influential part of her journey into design.

“I found them all inspiring and motivating; they gave me the confidence to learn new skills and grow into a strong designer,” she explained. “A special thank you to Joshua Robinson, Bani Phul-Anand, Brian Pumilia, Ashley Kays, and Rick Dobbis for their continued support.”

But, like many other career changers, Sabrina wrestled with doubts that she could successfully transition into a new field.

“The most challenging part of becoming a product designer in this program is working through impostor syndrome,” she said. “It is a natural feeling to feel out of place or uncomfortable in a new environment, and it is essential for growth, so learning to embrace it was the best thing for me during my transition.”

Diving Into Design

Sabrina graduated from Flatiron School’s UX / UI Product Design program in February of 2022 and, aided by her career coach, had a relatively short job search.

“I was fortunate to get hired eight weeks after graduating from a design studio that was a part of Flatiron’s career partnership,” Sabrina explained. “My career coach Rick Dobbis was essential in my job hunt journey. He assisted me with polishing my resume and prepping me for the interview that landed me my first design role.”

Sabrina is currently working as a Designer / Researcher at Grand Studio. Her experience in the field thus far, she says, was worth the journey. 

“I am genuinely enjoying product design as a whole. Every day brings new challenges and is a rewarding and stimulating career,” she said. “I have many goals and dreams for my future in product design, and I am taking actionable steps toward them every day.”

Looking back, her advice to others thinking of pursuing a career in design is one of self determination. 

“Stay curious and take charge of your education. Going to school and getting your certificate will make you eligible to get your foot in the door, but your self-motivated pursuit of knowledge will reserve you a seat at the table.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Sabrina Hernandez?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Sabrina Hernandez in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free UX / UI Product Design Prep. Or, review the UX / UI Product Design Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 25 January 2023. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/.

Carla Stickler: From Broadway Star To Software Engineer

Carla Stickler, a Fall 2019 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, describes herself as a professional multi-hyphenate. After spending more than 10 years performing in Broadway musicals such as Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and The Sound of Music, her desire for stability, a better work-life balance, and a chance encounter with an old friend led her to tech.

She shares her journey from Broadway Star to Software Engineer below.

A Burned Out Broadway Star

By the end of 2018, Carla Stickler had already had what many would consider to be a dream career. She’d found success in the arts – a difficult feat no matter the medium – and performed on Broadway stages in world-famous musicals such as Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and The Sound of Music. 

But, Carla said, the continuous grind needed to reach that level of success had begun wearing on her.

“From the outside, it looked like I was living it up. However, after performing eight shows a week almost non-stop for about a decade, I was burned out,” she said. “I was spending more time managing injuries than having any sort of a life, missing weddings, birthdays, holidays with my family, and weekend BBQs. I struggled to maintain friendships outside of work as I basically lived at the theater.”

 To take a break from the stage (and dancing and four-inch heels), Carla earned a Master’s Degree in Education and worked as a voice teacher while moonlighting at the Wicked Broadway company to fill in for vacancies. The grind, however, didn’t slow down.

“I was hustling to get enough actor weeks to qualify for health insurance through the union and to find enough voice students to pay my bills,” Carla said. “All I wanted was a steady paycheck, a social life, and my body to stop hurting all the time. I couldn’t figure out why that was so hard to achieve in the arts.”

The Inciting Incident

Carla recalls knowing that she needed to make a change for a while, but a chance encounter at her 35th birthday party finally spurred her to act. 

“A friend showed up to my party and announced, ‘I’m a software engineer now and I just got a great job making more money than I’ve ever made with health insurance and a 401k!’ I was confused, since last I checked, he was a composer writing musicals,” she mused. “I held him captive for the next 30 minutes asking him how he did it and what exactly software engineering was. He told me he went to the Flatiron School and learned to code.”

Several weeks and a few google searches later, Carla enrolled in a twice-weekly front-end development course* at Flatiron School.

“I wanted to see if I really enjoyed [Software Engineering],” Carla explained. “I got hooked and decided to attend Flatiron’s Immersive Software Engineering Bootcamp at their [New York City campus] the next summer and to change my life with code!”

Scene Change: Flatiron School

For Carla, Flatiron School’s community was a critical part of the experience.

“Flatiron was reminiscent of my time at performing arts summer camp. It was intense and overwhelming, but we were all in it together, with a common goal to learn a new skill set so we could change our lives,” she explained. “The folks in my cohort quickly became life-long friends. We supported each other by celebrating our wins and providing encouragement for those struggling to keep up.”

Her cohort supported one another throughout their time in the program and participated in a weekly tradition known as “Feelings Friday” to recognize and cheer one another on. 

“We would sit in a circle and everyone would get a chance to talk about what we had struggled through that week, or talk about a win we’d had. We would all snap our fingers when someone was finished as if to say, ‘You are not alone. I am right there with you, feeling the same imposter syndrome, terrified about whether or not I’ve made the right decision. But we can do this crazy thing’”, Carla explained. “Flatiron had a way of building a community that made our struggles seem manageable. We were all going through this journey together and knew that for this thing to succeed, we all needed to succeed.”

Pulled Back By Broadway

When the Wicked production company reached out for an emergency backfill for a sick actor halfway through the JavaScript portion of the course, Carla managed to fulfill both obligations. 

“I spent three weeks coding from 9-5 while also performing on Broadway evenings and weekends. I was so excited about learning to code that I’d spend intermission and the time between scenes, in the dressing room, coding. It was an intense few weeks,” she said. “But if I could pass my javascript tests while also doing Wicked, I could do anything.”

Through the course, Carla learned something about coding that she hadn’t expected – it was creative. 

“No one ever tells you, or at least no one ever told me, that software engineering is creative. It’s complex and requires the ability to imagine something that doesn’t yet exist and create it using code. The similarities between coding and art amazed and inspired me.”

In addition to her enjoyment of the material, the successes of others in the school assured her that she had made the right choice in attending Flatiron School.

“Our teachers were an inspiration, as many of them had gone through the program and already seemed light years ahead of us. When we heard about friends finishing the program and quickly landing a new job, we knew we had chosen the right path.”

Job Searching During The Pandemic

Carla graduated from Flatiron School at the end of 2019, just a few short months before the beginning of the COVID pandemic. She credits Career Services with keeping her moving forward in her job search, even in the face of an unprecedented year like 2020.

“While everyone was on a hiring freeze, I worked with my career coach and continued learning on my own and taking classes online to keep my skills fresh,” she said. “Having a structure for how to proceed helped remove some of the unknowns about getting a job. The weekly blog posts, continued self-learning, and spreadsheet that tracked all the people I was reaching out to could be overwhelming at times, but I look back on all the hard work I did and I see how it paid off.”

Despite all of the hard work Carla put in with her career coach after graduating, the pandemic raged on, severely limiting her prospects as the world shut down and companies did damage control. 

“I had a few interviews that ended with being told how much they wished they could hire me, but unfortunately, they couldn’t take on junior devs at that moment.”

Pursuing A Tech-Adjacent Role

Determined to break into tech one way or another, Carla pivoted into searching for tech-adjacent roles.

“Learning to code proved that I could pick up skills fast and that having a job in tech was better than not having a job in tech,” she said. “I started looking at customer success and solutions engineering roles where I could flex my soft skills and build up my experience in the field.” 

This time, she found success and in mid-2020 took a job as a Customer Success Associate at a startup in NYC. Looking back, she does not lament the fact that her first post-Flatiron job was tech-adjacent and instead highlights that it actually checked most of the boxes that were empty in her previous career field. 

“It’s important for folks getting into a new field to really think about what’s most valuable to them when they finish a bootcamp,” she said. “Spending a year as a Success Associate allowed me the comfort of having a stable income, health insurance, and remote work so my husband and I could leave New York and buy a house in Chicago. This job, while not what I had intended, gave me a lot of what I was looking for.”

Carla also stresses the importance of stepping stones, and not putting too much pressure on finding the perfect first job.

“Your first job does not have to be your forever job. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to love it,” she said. “The first job is to get your foot in the door, start building your resume, have experience working in an agile environment, learn how to communicate over Slack, and just exist in this new industry.”

Landing Her First Engineering Gig

After moving to Chicago, Carla resumed her search for a software engineering position and accepted a position as a Junior Software Engineer at G2. The difference the past years have made, she said, is almost indescribable. 

“I cannot begin to tell you the number of things I’ve learned in the past year and the amount of confidence I’ve gained as a developer. The imposter syndrome never really goes away, but I’m better suited now to quiet the voices that tell me I can’t or I shouldn’t, because I’ve proved that I can and I did.”

Despite the grind it took to get her to her current position and the hurdles along the way, Carla is thriving. 

“It might’ve taken me longer than expected, but I love my job and couldn’t be more grateful for the life that attending Flatiron and learning to code has provided for me.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Carla Stickler?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Carla Stickler in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 06 January 2023. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/.

*Course no longer offered

Seth Blanchard: From Social Worker To Software Engineer

Seth Blanchard, an August 2021 Software Engineering Flatiron School graduate, spent almost two decades as a self-employed social worker before the pandemic put a hold on the industry. 

He shares his journey from social worker to software engineer below.

What is your background and why did you choose to attend Flatiron?

I have a background in Social Work and spent the bulk of the last 15 years working for myself.  

I contracted with various local social services agencies within central VA and the focus of my efforts was working with families to locate employment, housing, benefits, transportation, daycare, etc.  

Being self-employed in this industry while COVID was happening caused many of my large contracts to vanish.  

I have always had an affinity for building things and had gravitated toward software development. When work slowed, it was a great time to make a change.  

I chose Flatiron because it seemed to have a good reputation. I hoped to get the development skills and [the certificate] which I felt would increase my chance of success in a total career switch. 

How do you like working as an engineer?

I am working with mainframes, particularly the IBMz and process automation, which is not something I had anticipated. The work is quite different from current trends in software development, but I have enjoyed the challenges.

How does the reality of working as a software engineer contrast to what you thought it would be like?

I enjoy working at Rocket and value their emphasis on work/life balance as well as advancement. There are so many opportunities.

Walk me through a “day in the life” of your job.

I spend most of my day using customer-side requirements to build process automation “robots” which navigate through the mainframe and accomplish tasks.  

When not directly coding, I am working with the analysts to better understand, and properly implement the requirement logic.

Any advice for current Flatiron School students?

Start the informal job search earlier than you think you should. That part can take a while and having a certification isn’t necessarily an automatic door-opener. You will have to do a great deal of work to differentiate yourself.

Inspired by Seth Blanchard’s career change?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Seth Blanchard in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success in a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 16 December 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/.

Oscar Oré: From Sales Rep To Solutions Engineer

Oscar Oré, a Software Engineering Flatiron School graduate, started his career as a sales rep. After working in several different industries, a job at an IT firm sent him on a new path in life.

He shares his journey from sales rep to solutions engineer below. 

What is your background and why did you choose to attend Flatiron?

Before I attended Flatiron, I was a Sales rep. I was involved in many industries from manufacturing to tech, but I always had an interest in tech.

When I was working for an IT reseller it really sparked my curiosity to learn how to code. 

I did a ton of research before I joined Flatiron. After a ton of positive reviews and outcomes, I decided to enroll in the program and try to land a programming role in Tech!

How does the reality of working as a software engineer contrast to what you thought it would be like?

It has been a dream come true! 

One thing that has really stood out to me is how the soft skills that I have learned in my previous career have helped me in my current role. Communication is key when you are working on a team.

Have you worked on any cool projects?

Since my time at Rocket Software, I have been assigned to two ongoing projects for one of our clients involving their mainframes and process automation. 

The experience has been great and I have gained a ton of knowledge from these projects! 

Walk me through a “day in the life” of your job.

I typically start my day by completing customer requirements to build process automation requests. These process automation requests or “robots” navigate through the mainframe and complete a task based on the customer’s needs. 

Besides coding, I am also in meetings with analysts to discuss the upcoming processes, deadlines that need to happen, and what projects will be deployed for the week.

What do you wish you’d known before getting started in your field post-Flatiron School?

Remain curious about your new role! You can always learn new technical skills. Embrace the challenge! 

Any advice for current students?

Network as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Believe in yourself and remember to keep learning. Reach out to Flatiron Alumni to see how they are liking their role, and how they approached their job hunt.

Inspired by Oscar Oré’s story?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Oscar Oré in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success in a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 07 December 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/.

Jillian Short: From The Arts To Tech

Jillian Short, a May 2021 Software Engineering Flatiron School graduate and an Associate Customer Solutions Engineer at Rocket Software, had a career in the arts until the COVID-19 pandemic short-circuited the industry and forced her to pivot.

She shares her journey from the arts to tech by way of Flatiron School below.

What is your background and why did you choose to attend Flatiron?

My background is in the arts. I started in theatre as a stage manager and worked as a production assistant for small film projects and music venues. I was a barista at a high-end coffee house (we’re talking real coffee pros here), and a bartender for a couple of years. Then I moved into an executive assistant role. I’ve done lots of different things in life. 

When the pandemic hit, live events weren’t happening, and my executive assistant job was wearing on me pretty intensely. I took a trip with my partner to visit his family, and his sibling recommended giving coding a try. 

A cheap Udemy course turned into looking at Bootcamps, and then I started at Flatiron. 

The hope was to find a remote job that was more fulfilling, paid what I knew I was worth making and had more security (30 is right around the corner and I’d love to buy a house and be able to retire someday!)

How do you like working as an engineer?

I love it! I was honestly really nervous when I started. I struggled with imposter syndrome endlessly while I was attending Flatiron, especially when I started my job search. I never felt like I could be good enough to do this professionally, but here I am! 

I love the team I’m on, being able to work remotely, and the learning opportunities. It’s been a great transition and I couldn’t be more grateful that I found some courage and just went for it.

Walk me through a “day in the life” of your job.

Every morning we have a meeting with the entire team to go over what we’re working on/any questions folks have about something they’re working on. Then I jump into my edits with the flow being something like this:

New or updated requirements are sent in and assigned. 

When something is assigned to me, I read through those requirements and estimate how long coding will take me (and ask for a meeting if I need clarification on anything). 

Then I get coding! And usually, somewhere in here, I’ll ask someone else on my team for help if I bump into problems or questions.

Once I feel like my code is running well in the tool we build in, I’ll take it to our testing platform and run a test. Then I read the report, and if I see issues I fix them and test again. Once I don’t see any problems in the report, I send the information to the lead and wait for feedback. 

I’ll update and repeat the above testing steps if more changes are needed. Otherwise, we test for about a week, and then the code is added to production. 

How does the reality of working as a software engineer contrast to what you thought it would be like?

It’s way more fun than I thought it would be, honestly. I have a handful of friends who work as engineers in varying capacities, and they also love their jobs, but I wasn’t sure if I would feel the same way. I’m happy to report that it’s been two months and I’m still having a great time. 

What do you wish you’d known before getting started in your field post-Flatiron School?

I wish I’d had more practice with Github. We used it, but I would have loved to practice with it more, and have scenarios where we can practice using Github as if we were contributing on a team.

Any advice for current students?

Pair program all the time. I wish I had done that a lot more. 

Talk through your code always. I’m terrible at talking through code and it’s because I didn’t say what I was doing out loud enough. 

Network more than you think you need to. In the end, that’s probably what will give you the job.

Inspired by Jillian Short’s story?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Jillian Short in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 05 December 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/.

Rocket Software: Building a community of innovation

Rocket Software is a software development firm that specializes in the creation of custom-tailored IT solutions for infrastructure, data, and applications. 

Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Rocket Software began with humble origins in 1990 – no more than two software engineers in a garage with a dream. Fast forward to 2022, the organization now has more than 2,600 employees globally. 

According to Tara Gallone, VP of Talent at Rocket Software, the company’s commitment to diversity and living its core values is what attracts and retains high-performing employees.

Core Values

When we spoke with Gallone earlier this year, she highlighted the impact of each employee living Rocket Software’s core values.

“Our core values are empathy, humanity, trust, and love. We have a people-first culture where our Rocketeers are cared for, invested in, supported, and find belonging. By offering flexibility, benefits, personal growth opportunities, and deep connections which sets us apart, we are committed to the well-being of Rocketeers. We want our people to be the very best they can be at work and home. These are not just words- this is who we are.”

Commitment To Diversity

With several thousand employees spanning multiple continents, Gallone referenced Rocket Software’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as a key driver of the organization’s success.

“As a global organization, diversity is what makes us thrive. At Rocket, diversity, equity and inclusion are business imperatives. We are committed to providing access to opportunities to everyone, including those who belong to historically excluded groups, a place where each Rocketeer knows that their unique contribution is valued and where you can show up as your authentic self. Diversity provides richness in the experience of our Rocketeers and challenges us to think differently about how to work together and innovate.”

As of mid-2022, Rocket Software has hired three Flatiron School graduates – Jillian Short, Oscar Oré, and Seth Blanchard – each of whom has nothing but good things to say about their experience as “Rocketeers”.

Jillian Short, May 2021 Software Engineering Graduate

Jillian Short’s background is in the arts, and she has a packed resume to prove it. 

“I started in theatre as a stage manager and worked as a production assistant for small film projects and music venues. I was also a barista at a high-end coffee house (we’re talking real coffee pros here), and a bartender for a couple of years. Then I moved into an executive assistant role. I’ve done lots of different things in life.”

But, like many others – particularly those whose livelihood depended on the arts – Jillian’s varied sources of income dried up. 

“When the pandemic hit, live events weren’t happening, and my executive assistant job was wearing on me pretty intensely. I took a trip with my partner to visit his family, and his sibling recommended giving coding a try.”

She dipped her toes into coding with some online courses, then committed to Flatiron School’s Software Engineering program, citing the desire to pursue something that was both meaningful and profitable. 

“The hope was to find a remote job that was more fulfilling, paid what I knew I was worth making and had more security (30 is right around the corner and I’d love to buy a house and be able to retire someday!)”

Her Experience Working At Rocket Software

Jillian was hired as an Associate Customer Solutions Engineer at Rocket Software in June 2022. When asked how she was liking it, she had only good things to report.

“I love [working at Rocket]! I love the team I’m on, being able to work remotely, and the learning opportunities. It’s been a great transition and I couldn’t be more grateful that I found some courage and just went for it.”

As for the reality of working as a software engineer, the day-to-day has been better than the dream.

“[Software engineering is] way more fun than I thought it would be, honestly. I have a handful of friends who work as engineers in varying capacities, and they also loved their jobs, but I wasn’t sure if I would feel the same way. I’m happy to report that it’s been two months and I’m still having a great time.”

As to what she’s working on, Jillian couldn’t share too many details, except for the fact that it was engaging and fulfilling – just as she’d hoped it would be when she began her software engineering journey with Flatiron School.

“The project I get to work on at Rocket is pretty incredible when I think about everything it does. I’m not allowed to give away the details, but the tool we use for our coding always presents interesting challenges and keeps me on my toes! The great thing about it is it isn’t like any open-source language out there. It’s kind of like working in our own little world. Although I do miss the ability to turn to Google for help!”

Advice For Current Students

Looking back on her experience at Flatiron School now that she’s in industry, Jillian had specific advice for other students looking to follow her path. 

“Pair program all the time. Talk through your code always. I’m terrible at talking through code and it’s because I didn’t say what I was doing out loud enough. Network more than you think you need to. In the end, that’s probably what will give you the job.”

Jillian also struggled with imposter syndrome while at Flatiron School and in the early months at Rocket Software. But, she advised, it’s important to push through those feelings and trust in your abilities. 

“I struggled with imposter syndrome endlessly while I was attending Flatiron, and especially when I started my job search. I never felt like I could really be good enough to do this professionally, but here I am!”

Oscar Oré, 2021 Software Engineering Graduate

Oscar Oré has held tech-adjacent positions across several industries, but a life-long interest in tech eventually brought him to Flatiron School. 

“Before I attended Flatiron, I was a Sales rep. I was involved in many industries from Manufacturing to tech. I always had an interest in tech and it was when I worked for an IT reseller that sparked my curiosity to learn how to code. I did a ton of research before I joined Flatiron. After a ton of positive reviews and outcomes, I decided to enroll in the program. What I wanted to accomplish after my time in Flatiron was to land a programming role in Tech!” 

His Experience Working At Rocket Software

Oscar graduated in 2021 and was hired as an Associate Customer Solutions Engineer at Rocket Software in February 2022. Since joining the company, he’s enjoyed his experience and hopes to grow with Rocket Software.

“I love working for Rocket Software! During my job search, I wanted to choose a company that truly cared about my career growth, and I felt that since day one as a Rocketeer!”

As for transferring from sales into a technical role, the skills Oscar developed in previous positions have not gone to waste. 

“[Working at Rocket Software] has been a dream come true! One thing that has stood out to me is how the soft skills that I learned in my previous career have helped me in my current role. Communication is key when you are working on a team!” 

Oscar’s decision to join Rocket Software was influenced by his desire for career growth, and his projects there have allowed him to develop new skills. 

“In my time at Rocket Software, I have been assigned to two ongoing projects for one of our clients involving their mainframes and process automation. The experience has been great and I have gained a ton of knowledge from these projects!”

Advice For Current Students

Oscar’s advice to his past self on his new role is one of optimism and excitement. 

“Remain curious in your new role! You can always learn something new to add to your technical skills and will probably be introduced to something completely new. Embrace the challenge!”

His advice for current Flatiron School students, is similarly uplifting and encouraging, with a reminder to treat the job search like a job.

“Network as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Believe in yourself and remember to keep learning. Reach out to other Flatiron Alumni to see how they are liking their role, and how they approached their job hunt!”

Seth Blanchard, August 2021 Software Engineering Graduate

Before attending Flatiron School’s Software Engineering program, Seth Blanchard spent more than a decade in social services. 

“I have a background in Social Work and spent the bulk of the last 15 years working for myself.  I contracted with various local social services agencies within central VA and the focus of my efforts was working with families to locate employment, housing, benefits, transportation, daycare, etc.”

Unfortunately, his self-employed career was severely impacted by the pandemic. With contracts drying up, Seth decided to pivot his career toward tech.

“I have always had an affinity for building things and gravitated towards software development. When work slowed, I felt it was a great time to make a change. I chose Flatiron because it had a good reputation. I hoped to get the development skills as well as a [certificate] which I felt would increase my chance of success in a total career switch.” 

His Experience Working At Rocket Software

Seth graduated from Flatiron School in August 2021 and was hired as an
Associate Customer Solutions Engineer at Rocket Software in February 2022. Since being hired, Seth has enjoyed his new position and the opportunities it brings.

“I am working with mainframes, particularly the IBMz and process automation, which is not something I had anticipated. The work is quite different from current trends in software development, but I have enjoyed the challenge.”

Advice For Current Students

Seth’s advice for other Flatiron School students approaching the job search is practical and realistic.

“Start the informal job search earlier than you think you should. That part can take a while and having a certification isn’t necessarily an automatic door-opener. You will have to do a great deal of work to differentiate yourself.”

Why Does Rocket Software Hire Flatiron School Graduates?

Since hiring three Flatiron School graduates in early 2022, Rocket Software is eager to hire more. 

“The graduates have real-world work experience and are coming in with some professional skills,” Tara Gallone, VP of Talent, explained. “Also, Flatiron has a diverse student population which is important to [us].”

Why Should Students Look To Rocket Software As A Great Place To Work?

Rocket Software received a “Great Place To Work” certification in June 2022, and hopes to attract more students from Flatiron School with their commitment to employee growth. 

“At Rocket, growth and innovation are central to all we do. That’s why we give Rocketeers ample opportunity to pursue the next big idea, even if it doesn’t fall within their job description.”

The company also has additional opportunities, outside of normal day-to-day operations, for employees to build their skills.

“‘The annual Rocket Build hackathon allows Rocketeers to go beyond the day-to-day and challenge themselves to create solutions that improve our world. What started as a small internal hackathon has grown to include Rocketeers and our entire customer, partner, and student ecosystem.”

Interested In Working At Rocket Software?

Rocket Software has employment opportunities in Engineering, Product Management, Marketing, Sales, Test Automation, and Technical Support. 

For more information, visit the Rocket Software career site to see current openings and apply.

About Rocket Software

Rocket Software partners with the largest Fortune 1000 organizations to solve their most complex IT challenges across Applications, Data, and Infrastructure. Rocket Software brings customers from where they are in their modernization journey to where they want to be by architecting innovative solutions that deliver next-generation experiences. Over 10 million global IT and business professionals trust Rocket Software to deliver solutions that improve responsiveness to change and optimize workloads. Rocket Software enables organizations to modernize in place with a hybrid cloud strategy to protect investment, decrease risk and reduce time to value.